Game 7 of the 2016 World Series was one of the biggest games in MLB history, and that fact was reflected in the TV ratings. More people watched the Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night than any baseball game in recent memory.
An average of over 40 million people were tuned in to see the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. That’s the highest viewership for the sport since more than 50 million people watched Game 7 of the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves.
Chicago’s first title didn’t come easy, as they needed extra innings and nearly five hours to win their first title in 108 years. The contest drew a 25.2 overnight rating, peaking at 31.1 at 11:30 p.m. EDT. The rating dipped to 24.3 at midnight when there was a short rain delay at the top of the 10th inning, but it rose to 27.2 when the game concluded.
More than half of the households in Chicago watched Game 7, as the city generated a 51.2 rating, according to Michael Mulvihill of FOX Sports. Seventy-one percent of the TV sets in the city that were on were tuned into the contest. Cleveland drew a 48.6 rating and a 69 share, nearly matching Chicago.
WS Clinch Games, Two-Team Markets:
16 Cubs: 51.2
00 NYY: 42.8
05 CWS: 42.5
02 LAA: 42.0
14 SF: 38.8
12 SF: 38.7
10 SF: 37.9
09 NYY: 36.6
— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) November 3, 2016
The last Game 7 of the World Series didn’t come close to matching Wednesday’s viewership. An average of 23.5 million viewers watched the San Francisco Giants clinch the title against the Kansas City Royals two years ago. That was a close contest, as well, as San Francisco won 3-2 with Kansas City threatening to tie the game in the ninth inning.
Ten million more people watched Game 7 of the World Series than Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. And according to SportsBusiness Daily, Game 7 outrated every night of the 2016 Rio Olympics.